Japan's LDP To Make New Lawmakers Donate 1 Mil. Yen Allowance

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Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party said Tuesday it will make new lower house members donate the 1 million yen ($8,800) monthly transportation and communication allowance they received for October despite being elected on the last day of the month.

The policy comes amid growing criticism over the full amount paid out of the national coffers to those who won seats in the House of Representatives in the general election on Oct. 31 and follows a similar move by an opposition party.

LDP Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi told a press conference that he thinks it is "strange" for lawmakers to receive such an amount for just one day of service.

"We would like to take an appropriate response to avoid a situation that raises questions among the people," Motegi added. He suggested the party will consider where to donate the money, which cannot be technically returned to the state coffers.

On Monday, Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui, who heads the Japan Innovation Party, criticized the payment and indicated the conservative opposition party will collect the allowance from its new Diet members and donate the money to disaster-hit areas among others.

Tetsuro Fukuyama, secretary general of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said his party will seek to submit a bill that enables the allowance to be paid per day rather than monthly.

"The issue has been overlooked. We want to discuss it in an extraordinary Diet session," he said. The session may be convened on Dec. 6.

Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the LDP's coalition partner Komeito, said he will consider how to respond to the issue.


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